Mexico Summer Program for Teachers

I just heard about this program offered through Vanderbilt
University for travel to Mexico this summer. Eligible teachers
include those who teach social studies, Spanish and ELL. While the
program is not fully funded, most of the program expenses are paid

If you are interested, please link here. The website is onLook under Summer 2007 Professional Development Opportunities.

Vanderbilt University
Center for Latin American & Iberian Studies

Summer Overseas Professional Development Institute

Mexico, Past and Present

June 9 – 16, 2007
Director: Dr. Edward Wright-Rios, Professor of History

The Center for Latin American & Iberian Studies at Vanderbilt would
like to invite educators to participate in a professional
development program in Mexico (Summer 2007) entitled Mexico, Past
and Present. The institute will be organized and directed by Dr.
Edward Wright-Rios, VU Professor of History.

The purpose of this CLAIS institute is to enable educators to gain a
greater appreciation for Mexican history and contemporary culture
and to develop middle/high school level curriculum materials which
will help integrate this appreciation into classroom lessons.

The institute will be exciting and challenging, integrating visits
to archaeological sites and colonial landmarks, Mexican urban
experience and world-class museums, and rural life and indigenous
villages. There will be on-site seminar discussions of readings and
observations. As in most places, insights are best gained on foot,
and all participants must be prepared for a significant amount of
physical exercise. Some days will also begin early to take
advantage of the brief time span. In order to gain a sense for the
diversity of Mexico, the trip is divided essentially into two parts:
one centered in the national capital of Mexico City, and a second
portion in the strongly indigenous state of Oaxaca in southern

The institute will consist of three distinct components: (1) a one-
day orientation seminar, to be held prior to the institute on the
Vanderbilt campus, (2) the week-long institute in Mexico, and (3) a
one-day post-trip evaluation and curriculum development session.

Applicants must be able to participate in the program in its
entirety. This means that teachers must be able to participate in
all three aspects of the institute – before, during, and after the
trip. Participants are required to read assigned texts prior to
and/or during the institute and must participate in seminar
discussions. They must also attend the post-trip evaluation session
and participate in developing curriculum units on Mexico based on
their observations during the institute, which will be shared with
other participants. The details of this segment will be outlined as
part of the pre-trip seminar. Those who complete the institute will
receive a certificate of participation worth 30 professional
development hours.

The selection process: Teachers of social studies, Spanish, and ELL
teachers from both public and private institutions are encouraged to
apply. Priority may be given to applications from teachers at the
high school and middle school level. All applications will be
carefully reviewed by a selection committee. Finalists will be
required to participate in an interview with the selection

Passport: All applicants must have a valid U.S. passport no later
than April 15, 2007. Per the Department of Homeland Security’s
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), effective January 23,
2007, all U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Mexico are
required to have a valid passport to enter the United States.

Expenses covered by CLAIS include: (1) round-trip airfare from
Nashville to Mexico City; (2) travel within Mexico; (3) lodging
accommodations in Mexico, plus breakfast (7 days); (4) some group
meals; (5) instructional materials provided during the trip.

Expenses not covered by CLAIS include: (1) travel to and from
Vanderbilt University for the pre- and post-trip seminars; (2)
instructional materials to be used in pre-trip orientation; (3) some
meals on your own; (4) personal expenses, such as for gifts,
personal items, etc.

The application deadline is February 19, 2007.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must present the following
documentation to apply:
1. Completed application form, including attached essays.
2. Photocopy of two first pages of your passport along with the
application. (If you do not yet have a passport, you must obtain
one and provide us with a copy of these pages by April 15, 2007.)
3. Evidence of health insurance (e.g. photocopy of policy or
insurance card), with coverage for international travel to Mexico.
(along with the application)
4. Description of any dietary restrictions or health problems.
(along with the application)
5. A letter of recommendation from a supervisor or colleague.
(no later than March 1, 2007)
6. For applicants selected to participate, a letter from your
physician stating you are in adequate health to travel to Mexico.
(no later than May 1, 2007)

All applications must be submitted to Sarah Birdwell (Outreach
Coordinator) via mail, fax, or email. Photocopied attachments to
the application must be submitted via mail or fax.

VU Center for Latin American & Iberian Studies
Attn: Sarah Birdwell
VU Station B #351806
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1806
Tel. (615) 343-1837 * Fax (615) 322-2305


The F.I.L.M. Project (Finding Inspiration in Literature & Movies), a collaboration between the National Collaboration for Youth (NCY) and Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, is pleased to announce a book give-a-way! Executive Books ( has generously donated 10,000 copies of the book, The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall, to the F.I.L.M. project to be distributed to YOU, our members and participants in the F.I.L.M. programs!

We’d love to see each of the book recipients also benefit from the F.I.L.M. Ultimate Gift program that will complement it. Stay tuned for the accompanying youth development activity guide, which will be available for free download on the F.I.L.M. website. The movie, The Utimate Gift is set to be released in early March. The book, movie and F.I.L.M. program are appropriate for youth ages 13 – 18. Get a jump on it by distributing free copies of the book in January and February.

ACT NOW! Request your copies today while they are still available

To order, simply fill out a quick online request form by clicking here or visiting The Film Project Website . Be sure to fill out the address where you want the books shipped. Orders are accepted in group of 100 books. Although the books are FREE, there is a small shipping fee. Shipping charges range from $13-31 per 100 books ordered, depending on order location. Once your order is received by the publishing company, you will receive an electronic invoice via email for the shipping fee. (This may take up to 48 hours.) Then, you will be asked to pay by credit card or check.

Learn more about The Ultimate Gift

Diversity in Graphic Novels

Interesting podcast over on about Black artists who are develop a variety of themes in graphic novels. Historic themes and biographies seem to be what most of the artists are developing for adult audiences.

It is interesting to hear how this genre is developing in the black community. Will my students read it? Don’t know. While many like manga, they tend to go for the stuff they see on television. They’re not real risk takers into other graphic novels. It’ll be interesting to see what techniques it will take to get them interested. Displays? Book talks?

Artists interviewed:

Andrew Helfer (no homepage found)

Felipe Smith (This homepage also links to his myspace site)

Randy Duburke

Fiction Finder

FictionFinder is a project of OCLC Research that provides access to 2.8 million works of fiction found in the OCLC WorldCat database.

With FictionFinder, you can search for books, eBooks, and audiobooks by titles, authors, ISBNs, and other information such as literary awards and book summaries.
You can also browse the FictionFinder database by genre, fictional character, imaginary place or setting, and subject.

When you discover an item you are interested in, FictionFinder can help you find a copy.

Wish for Lit!!

from the Library Grant Blog: has announced the “Wish for Lit” contest that will give over $20,000 in products to 3 winning libraries in the United States. One library will be selected in each of the three categories: K-12, Academic, and Public. Each winning library will receive a $5,000 gift certificate for products, as well as up to $2,000 of products that are on the library’s Wish List.
To apply, simply create a Library Wish List and fill out the online form. The three winners will be selected by a panel of 5 judges selected by the American Library Association Chapter Relations Committee.